Surgery. I’ve had surgeries before, but none that have lasted 12-14 hours. The thought is a bit daunting, and I would be lying if I said it doesn’t make me anxious. I will be having surgery on May 16th and be in the hospital for 5 or 6 days. I don’t think I’ve ever been in the hospital that long and I know I’ve never been in the ICU. So this will be a new experience for me.
At the same time, having the date set, has brought a strange sense of relief as well. I’ve always been a planner, so I like to know what’s happening ahead of time. Having 3 weeks gives me time to prepare for a substitute, get things done around the house, and mentally prepare for a long recovery. I’m so glad that it is going to happen before the end of the school year. It will give me a full three months to recover and hopefully be back to normal before school starts in August.
I finished radiation on Tuesday. Everyone keeps saying that I must be so relieved to have that behind me, and believe me, I am. But comparing it to the 7 and a half weeks of radiation 10 years ago, two weeks was nothing. On my last day, I told the nurses and technicians that they’re all wonderful people………but I hope I never have to see them again. They all smiled and nodded their heads in understanding.
I think the biggest hurdle I have overcome is the sheer shock of being diagnosed with a recurrence. When I was told 10 years ago that I had breast cancer, I knew that I would always live with the fear of recurrence. The first few years were the worst. Every ache, pain, twitch, or bruise, I imagined to be the cancer spreading. I ran to the doctor only to be reassured that everything was fine. Eventually the anxiety became less and less until I thought about it rarely if ever. Being diagnosed with a new breast cancer was one thing. Being diagnosed with metastisis from the cancer 10 years ago, completely knocked me over. That possibility wasn’t even in the back of my mind. It’s ironic that it doesn’t happen when I’m worried about it, but it does when I’m not.
Those first couple of weeks were pretty rough. All I thought about was dying. I would be fine one minute, sobbing the next. I felt horrible for my husband, son, and mother. We would be watching tv, driving in the car……..I could be laughing, talking…….and then tears started flowing all of the sudden. Nothing anyone said or did could stop the emotional train wreck of those first few weeks. Now, things (or should I say I) have calmed down quite a bit. I’ve put things in perspective and managed to look at the positive side of the situation. It’s a good thing, because I don’t think I could have faced surgery in the emotional state I was in.
I’m ready to move forward. I guess it’s the only direction to go. I have the utmost confidence in my doctors and I know I’m getting very good care. Besides surgery, I’ll be getting monthly infusions of a drug to help strengthen my bones. My next PET CT scan will be in July.
I need everyone to pray for a safe and successful surgery, a quick and painless recovery, and for the cancer to be controlled. Thanks in advance…….your prayers mean the world to me!